Remembering Jeffrey E. Patterson

Jeff Patterson lived and breathed scholarships. He loved hearing the top scholars speak at Convention and interacting with them and other scholars at the Foundation’s donor events. When New Jersey landed the top girl on his watch as the state chair, it was the thrill of a lifetime. And each time one of his three daughters won a Legacy scholarship, he practically lost the buttons on his shirt.

Jeff and Jody

Jeff died suddenly last May, but now, thanks to the generosity of his wife, Jody—a member of Pendleton S.C., Lodge No. 2861—his memory will breathe life into the academic dreams of an Elks scholar. In remembrance of Jeff’s passion for scholarships, Jody donated $20,000 to fund one of this year’s fourth-place Most Valuable Student awards. She and her daughters—Janice, Jacqueline and Jessica—reviewed all 14 fourth-place winners before selecting Branden Pearson of Florida to receive the Jeffrey E. Patterson Memorial Scholarship.

“It’s an honor to have the scholarship awarded to him,” Jody says, “and I know Jeff would agree.”

Branden will attend the University of Florida in the fall and plans to study Computer Science. Ultimately, he wants to enter public service. In the meantime, he has already started to forge a relationship with his local Lodge, arranging to speak about the Leadership Weekend at a recent meeting.

Branden Pearson

“The Elks have provided me with an amazing opportunity, and I plan on paying it forward,” Branden says. “I can’t wait to work with my local Lodge in the future!”

As an added benefit of his named scholarship, Branden will have the opportunity to connect with Jody and her daughters, as well, as he shares his college journey through semester updates, photos, and letters about his service with the Elks. The shared experience will deepen the meaning of Elks family for Branden and the Pattersons.

The Elks lost a wonderful member when Jeff Patterson died. The scholarship in his memory, though, is continuing his work and may also inspire a bright, young man to stay involved with the Elks for years to come.

Inspire an Elks scholar. To learn more about the MVS Named Scholarship Program, visit, or contact ENF Fundraising at or 773/755-4762

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